Cannabis use may increase higher risk of heart attack and stroke

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Cannabis, often called marijuana, is a plant that some people use for medical or recreational reasons. They might smoke it, eat foods containing it, or use a vape.

In recent years, more people have started to use cannabis, especially since it has become legal in several parts of the United States.

However, despite its growing popularity, there are concerns about how it affects our health, particularly the heart.

A recent study highlighted some worrying findings about cannabis and heart health. Researchers found that people who use cannabis might have a higher chance of experiencing heart problems, like heart attacks or strokes.

This was true even for those who didn’t use tobacco products or have other common risks for heart issues.

Dr. Abra Jeffers, who led the study, works as a data analyst at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. She mentioned that even though lots of people use cannabis, we don’t know much about the risks it poses, especially when it comes to heart disease.

She also pointed out that smoking cannabis, which is the most common way people use it, might be harmful because of the particles inhaled into the lungs.

The study looked at survey data from over 400,000 adults in the U.S. collected between 2016 and 2020. The researchers were interested in seeing if there was a link between using cannabis and having heart problems, including heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.

They found that people who used cannabis had a higher risk of these heart issues compared to those who didn’t use it at all. The risk was even higher for people who used cannabis more often.

Interestingly, the study also looked at men under 55 and women under 65 who were at risk for heart disease.

It found that using cannabis increased their chances of heart problems, regardless of whether they smoked tobacco or not. This suggests that cannabis itself can be a risk factor for heart disease.

Dr. Jeffers compared the smoke from cannabis to tobacco smoke, noting that both can be harmful to the heart. The main difference is the active substance in each:

THC in cannabis versus nicotine in tobacco. Her study underscores the importance of being aware of the cardiovascular risks associated with smoking cannabis.

Dr. Robert L. Page II, a professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, emphasized the importance of this study. He wasn’t involved in the research but commented on its significance.

He believes that the findings should prompt healthcare providers to discuss cannabis use with their patients openly. This conversation is crucial as cannabis becomes more accessible across the U.S., and it’s important for reducing potential heart risks.

In summary, while cannabis might seem harmless or even beneficial for some conditions, it’s important to consider its potential risks.

The recent study sheds light on the link between cannabis use and heart problems, encouraging both users and healthcare providers to think carefully about its use.

As cannabis becomes more common, understanding its effects on health, especially heart health, becomes even more critical.

If you care about heart health, please read studies that vitamin K helps cut heart disease risk by a third, and a year of exercise reversed worrisome heart failure.

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies about supplements that could help prevent heart disease, stroke, and results showing this food ingredient may strongly increase heart disease death risk.

The research findings can be found in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

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